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  #1  
Old 01-24-2021, 09:33 AM
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orion141 orion141 is offline
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Default Terrarium lighting control?

Hi All,

I have almost finished construction of my new 24x18x24 exoterra terrarium (purely for growing orchids). I have an LED hood from spectral designs. Currently I can manually dim the lights and have them at the same output over the whole photoperiod. I see that there is the option to buy controllers (for example Controller / Driver Combo (ELG-200) – Spectral Designs ) that can mimic natural light (dawn,dusk, etc). Do you all think these have any benefit in our orchid terrariums?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2021, 10:01 AM
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Mr.Fakename Mr.Fakename is offline
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I can't say it wouldn't be beneficial because dusk and dawn trigger specific chemical reactions in plants; but recreating it sure won't make a night and day difference (get it? it's a nice pun. yeah I'm fun).

The LEDs I'm using are on a 12 on/12 off timer, and orchids grow and bloom just fine.

If you're not too bad with manual work and electronics, you could build a programmable voltage controller for a fraction of the ELG-200's price.
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2021, 10:38 AM
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No need to ramp up or down the lighting.

If you were to do that, truly mimicking the sun by doing 12 hours off, 6 hours ramping from zero to max and 6 hours ramping from max to zero, you'd have to approximately double the maximum intensity to achieve the same volume of photons reaching the plants.
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Old 01-24-2021, 11:26 PM
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ditto on the ramping being unnecessary
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:56 PM
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Thank you all!!
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Old 01-26-2021, 12:47 PM
Draikan Draikan is offline
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When I ran my last display tank in my living room, I really appreciated the automatic dimming at dawn and dusk. It's fun to see the light slowly ramp each morning and evening.

The plants don't care, but if it's in your living space you might. The sudden intensity change is a bit jarring visually, for something that is otherwise a beautiful piece of furniture. If the tank is not really in your living space, maybe it still doesn't matter.

I was using a spectral designs light with the TC-420 dimmer (same one spectral designs sells). It worked great spending about 30min ramping up and down.
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